The Palazzo was previously one of the most luxurious family houses in 18th-century Milan. The imposing façade is virtually unique, when compared to other aristocratic buildings. It now hosts the Public Library (Biblioteca Centrale Comunale).The people of Milan affectionately call this library “the Sormani”, and it is an ideal location for reading. It is easy to concentrate in the atmosphere of silence, with the wealth of bibliographical resources possessed by the Library. There are over 600,000 specialist books, including the Stendhal library. About 20,000 Italian and international publications are available for consultation, while the audiovisual centre comprises 32,000 records, CDs, tapes and videocassettes.